A true story of a visit to a Rock Concert by a woman of a certain age …..

I feel as though I have a hangover …

…but it is not from alchohol as I only had a couple of glasses of lager all night so maybe the crowds crushing me, the loudest music I have ever heard plus the brightest flashing lights bashing my senses and yes, must consider the clouds of secondary marujiana which I had no choice but ingesting may have had an affect too – and, of course, the fact that I didn’t get to bed until 4.30 a.m. makes a difference to my normal equilibrium – so why?   Well, I went to a Rock Concert!  

It was held in a nearby town where I live here in southern Spain, as it is every year at the end of August and heralds the close of the long, hot, summer Fiesta season.   My home is only half an hour from a popular coastal tourist area and each year hundreds of people from Madrid, Sevilla, Barcelona and so on come down to sit out the heat and on the first week of September, they all go back … then like magic, it’s our sleepy, indeed, rather backward area again and it is BLISS!   You can PARK again, you can get served in shops again, the gas station has vacant car wash bays and best of all, the Post Office folk begin to slowly catch up with all that summer mail which somehow got stuck in Madrid as everybody who wasn’t actually on the beach, wanted to be!
However, last night was different because amongst others, “Manu Chao” were playing – a popular young group who play very fast, very loud, very up-to-date music.   To be honest, I’d never heard of them but a young woman at the Concert explained that they were so good and had such a brilliant following, some 25,000 people were expected to be at the gig.   Now, it occurred to me that if SHE knew, why didn’t the authorities who put on the event? As it was, even though we went early (that is 9.30 p.m. here), everywhere was clogged by then – my friends and I had to park miles away from the venue and once we got there, found the queues were astonomical … well, there is no such thing as a “queue” in Spain, people just wander in from all directions and occasionally ask who is the ‘ultimo’ but last night, most of the 25,000 there were of probably an average age of say 20, already on their way to being well stoned and they just wanted to GET IN!   So everyone all sort of joined the crowd and shuffled along for an hour or two – AND WE HAD TICKETS ALREADY as one of our gang had gone down to the Town Hall the day before in order to buy them, to save all the problems we now seemed to be encountering!!! -  however, we had to exchange those for a wraparound paper wrist-band for actual admittance we found out – so suddenly we could see the booth where these were being handed out, just about 50 metres away, and we felt encouraged!   But then, we found out that, unbelievably, the way was blocked by a metal barrier … and everybody had to climb over it to join the by-now enormous crowd milling from EVERY direction.   Really, I have never seen such a disorganised MESS.  But you know, the young crowd were never aggressive, never rude, they just accepted it all and so anyway, we finally got the tags and went to another “queue” to actually enter the Park.  I won’t bore you with more tales of procrastination, the Guardia being officious and so on … because once there, it was so wonderful!    There were stalls selling clothes, bags, ethnic jewellery, every kind of food you could think of, all being freshly prepared – there was a bungey contraption which you could attach yourself to and be flung high up in the air (!), NOISE, LIGHTS, marvellously weird clothes and haircuts but most of all, the mood was friendly, the music stunning, the Spaniards participating to the hilt and well, I think I might go again tonight for the final concert!
With apologies to anyone under 30 who realises I am slightly older than that!

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